General Manager Tom Telesco brought in 20 Undrafted Free Agents and there are a few players who could make some noise if given a fair shot to compete.
I'll be honest, I didn't catch any Virginia Tech football in 2012. I did catch up on the homework on him and was pretty shocked by the sheer number of good things I saw and read on him. Some highlights:
2012: Started all 13 games at left tackle ... Played 1,001 plays including 939 at left tackle and 62 more on special teams ... Was in on 72 offensive plays in his first start against Georgia Tech, grading out at 90 percent in the victory ... Totaled five knockdowns and graded out at 92 percent against Austin Peay ... Played all 57 snaps at Pittsburgh, grading out at 91 percent ... Credited with four knockdowns while in on 68 offensive plays against Bowling Green ... Played 65 offensive snaps and graded out at 92 percent with five knockdowns against Cincinnati ... Was in on all 80 plays, grading out at 92 percent at North Carolina ... Graded out at 85 percent and had four knockdowns against Duke ... Played 79 plays and graded out at 93 percent at Clemson ... Graded out at 92 percent while in on 81 snaps at Miami ... Was in on 72 plays, grading out at 83 percent, while also contributing on special teams against Florida State ... Graded out at 91 percent while in on 83 plays at Boston College ... In on 95 offensive snaps against Virginia, grading out at 90 percent ... Started in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
He is big. He is athletic. He was productive and showed consistent improvement. I'll take it. He is a Left Tackle but he could possibly play both Offensive Guard positions too without much drop off. He has size and ability to be a really good Right Guard, actually. If the Chargers want a blend of power and footwork next to Fluker then Becton could be the one.
He has a natural bend. He is poised in the manner of handling stunts by the defensive lineman and collected in his movements while moving backwards.
He has a few hidden talents and obviously some weaknesses. Sitting behind a D.J. Fluker and learning how to pave running lanes can only add to his arsenal and make him more versatile to the San Diego Chargers depth chart down the road.
Depth at Strong Safety, right?
Josh Johnson was a productive Cornerback in college but until he improves his footwork, his style of play just will not work today's passing game. He is physical, yes, and this isn't necessarily a bad tool to bring to the league; but he is grabby. You can't lay a finger on Wide Receivers nowadays in the NFL and you need guys who can basically just run step for step with Wide Receivers. That's not how Josh Johnson plays the game.
NFL Referees typically allow a bit more jostling in the middle of the field and this is where I feel he can be more beneficial to a ball club. He understands not only his, but others' roles in the zone which is key. He also adds in the ability to find ball at its peak in jump ball situation.
He is in an odd position with the San Diego Chargers adding CB Steve Williams from California into the mix. With either Marcus Gilchrist or Shareece Wright due to earn the spot opposite of Derek Cox by default, the Nickel and Dime packages are all but sowed up.
Give him a shot on the back end. He covers a lot better than what the San Diego Chargers have had in the last few years and his run defense can only improve with experience. Johnson could end up being a gem.
Gunner opposite of Darrell Stuckey?
Marcus Cromartie has Special Teams talent written all over him. Do not laugh, there is nothing wrong with this. Effective gunners are tough to find [Editor's Note: Just ask the Chargers once Kassim Osgood left the team]. If the Chargers grant him the opportunity to compete for the position and he embraces it, he could see the field as soon as any rookie in our draft class.
The duo of both Darrell Stuckey and this kid actually should be an intriguing thought for Chargers fans. I like what he brings to the table and already has a grasp of what it takes:
"I know my first contributions might not be as a defensive back. It might be playing special teams. Being at Wisconsin, you know how to play special teams because that's the first thing you basically play before you can even be on the field as a starter. I know it's going to take a lot of hard work. Playing at Wisconsin, we never shied away from hard work."